Families Join in Service and Give Back
Thank you for joining us for Family Day on Summer of Service! In today's post we're highlighting the importance of family service and fostering family values that include giving back by dedicating a day to moms and families who serve.
Please welcome our inspiring Family Day guests, Rachel Matthews of A Southern Fairy Tale, Angela Ishmael of Swanky Moms and Kristen of We are THAT Family. Thanks ladies!
Rachel Matthews of A Southern Fairy Tale shares her thoughts on how parents can teach their children the value of giving back to their communities. Through the smallest of actions (like leaving the beach cleaner than you found it) to bigger gestures of kindness (like volunteering or donating used clothes), we can all make big diferences in eachother's lives, each and every day.
"One of the greatest gifts that we can give our children in addition to morals, work ethic, manners and a sense of responsibility for one’s actions is the ability to see outside yourself, to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you and that one of the best gifts you can do for yourself and others is to give back."
-See the entirety of Rachel's post on A Southern Fairy Tale
Angela Ishmael of Swanky Moms gives us insight on how families that are dedicated to serving others are ones that can truly stand the test of time. Encouraging this sort of action early on in any family is always an excellent way to build family bonds and create meaningful family time together.
"When I married my husband, it was essential for us to set up our family values. Values that would guide us in our daily lives on how we treat each other, raise our kids, and share in our community. One significant value for both of us was a commitment to serve others. Together we have chosen to live out that value by being ambassadors for a non-profit organization called Christian Ministries in Africa (CMIA). With our love for children it was a perfect fit! Through our passion for CMIA we have been able to serve children abroad and here at home."
-See all of Angela's post on her blog: Swanky Moms
Kristen of We are THAT Family has spent a LOT of time compiling a list of 100 things that your family can do to make a difference in the world.There's everything from coming together as a family to spend more time with one another to spending more time thinking of others and doing great things within your community as a family. There's a ton of ways that your family can give back, and here are just a few that Kristen mentions:
- Babysit for a single mom
- Teach compassion with a Family Giving Box
- Write a Family Mission Statement
- Bake cookies for your local fire dept.
- Pick up trash at local park as a family field trip
- Create snack packs for Ronald McDonald residents
- Welcome a new family to the neighborhood with a dessert and introduction
- Pray for the poor of the world
- Color a Smile-print coloring page to be given to lift someone in need up
- Make a baby care kit for a baby in need
See the other 90 ways that your family can make a difference in the world on We are THAT Family.
Barb Likos of MomOffTrack has the right attitude about Family Service:
"I can’t say my kids have fed the homeless or built a habitat for humanity this year. They just haven’t. But do we help others? Absolutely. I just don’t think of it as ‘service’. We expect it of our kids."
That's dead on for many families struggling to balance all the kid activities with quality family time. Barb is an amazing mom and inspiring to many around her. She sums up her own philosphy this way: "In essence, we expect (our kids) to be of service whenever and however they can." And Barb is the same way.
Jill Berry of MusingsFromMe is a mom to 3 teen/tween kids. She helps them find generous opportunities to share of their own time like this example of a huge service project with their church— on Father's Day no less!
"It was a sobering day for me. I glanced over at my teen and her friends from church. I was proud to see all of them literally rolling up their sleeves and giving of themselves to the staff and of course, the patrons of the soup kitchen that Fathers’ Day. I was honored to not only be able to help out a worthy cause — Our Daily Bread in Baltimore, MD — but to be able to watch a group of teens do the same."
Read about the rest of her service project on MusingsfromMe.
Angie Lee is is mother of 5 children including a set of twins. She blogs at SevenClownCircus.
"They loved having the special responsibility and I’m pretty sure they understood that what they were doing was more than just feeding the fish. They were helping a friend because they could, and that made them, and ME happy."
Here's what she has to say about service and young children:
"I don’t think it’s ever to soon to start teaching children about the importance of acts of service. Even young children can “get” that these acts positively effect both the giver and the receiver."
Check out the rest of her story on SevenClownCircus.
Kristen of Dine and Dish shares how volunteering and community service doesn't have to be some impossibly big affair. Raising children who are active members of society that work towards making the world a better place can start with as small of an act as opening a door for a stranger.
"I think we often forget, especially as busy families, that being service oriented doesn’t always require a big time commitment. It doesn’t have to require time off work, trips to a foreign land, weekends away… service can be shared in your own backyard, in your own neighborhood, to the people you meet on a daily basis."
Read more about bringing up kids to be service-oriented at Kristen's blog, Dine and Dish.
And please make sure to keep up with the rest of VolunteerSpot's Summer of Service series!
- Small Actions, Big Impact by Nate St. Pierre
- Supporting Military Families by Christina Jumper
- Volunteering for Kids by Marilyn Price-Mitchell
- CSR and Employee Volunteering by Michael Nealis